These are standardised views from which the
heart is imaged, and these are explained by the following terminology.
Right parasternal position - right thorax over the palpable cardiac impulse,
at the 4th to 6th intercostal spaces and between the sternum and costochondral
Left caudal parasternal position (or left apical position) - left thorax
over the palpable cardiac impulse, at the 5th to 7th intercostal spaces and between
sternum and costochondral junctions.
Left cranial parasternal position - left thorax over the palpable cardiac
impulse, at the 3rd to 4th intercostal spaces and between the sternum costochondral
Subcostal position - caudal to the xiphisternum and ribs.
There are three orthogonal planes (
) for 2-D imaging:
Image orientation on the monitor
Long-axis - imaging plane that transects the heart perpendicular to the ventral
and dorsal surfaces of the body, and parallel to the long axis of the heart,
i.e. base to apex.
Short-axis - imaging plane that transects the heart perpendicular to its
lone and also perpendicular to the ventral and dorsal surfaces of the body.
Four-chamber view - imaging plane that transects the heart parallel to the
ventral and dorsal surfaces of the body.
The transducer should have an index mark to indicate one edge of the imaging
plane, and should display that side of the imaging plane to the right monitor.
Correct orientation will be maintained by holding the transducer in that the
index mark is always to the animal's head or to its left. An image inversion
switch will facilitate such positioning.
As a general rule, right heart structures are viewed on the monitor to the right.
Standard echocardiogram views
Although it is possible to obtain an infinite number of 'slices' through the heart,
there are a series of standard views. These have been documented by a number of
authors, and the reader is referred to these for a more detailed description (Thomas1984;
O'Grady et a!, 1986; Yuill & O'Grady, 1991).
Right parasternal position
Left caudal parasternal position
Left cranial parasternal position
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